Bio: Born and raised in Haifa, Israel, Olfat Haider spent many years managing the tensions involved in her Arab identity. She faced discrimination from both the Jewish and Arab populations growing up, and played on the Israeli National Women’s team as its only Arab member. These experiences inspired Olfat to promote peaceful co-existence between Jewish […]
Curious to learn a bit more about India? Here are a few fun facts about one of the world’s largest countries.
India was derived from the River Indus
In ancient times, “India” initially referred to those regions immediately along the east banks of the River Indus. By 300 BC, Greek writers began applying the term to the entire subcontinent that extends much farther eastward.
India was once an island
More than 100 million years ago, India was its own island. About 50 million years ago the India continental plate collided with Asia, and created the Himalayan mountain range. The plate on which India rests continues to press slowly north, which is why the height of Mount Everest increases slightly every year.
India is a country of many different languages
The 1961 census of India listed 1,652 languages, though some of these may have been dialects and smaller languages that have died out since then. There are 6 big languages spoken in India – Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, and Urdu.
India has three of the world’s top ten megacities
According to the UN, Delhi is now the second-largest urban agglomeration in the world, with Mumbai ranked seventh and Calcutta tenth. In Delhi alone, the annual growth rate is over 3%, about 700,000 people.
India is mango heaven
India is the world’s biggest producer and consumer of mangoes. Did you know it takes roughly 28.5 gallons of water to grow an ounce of this tasty fruit? India’s official national fruit comes in several hundred varieties, and more than 30 varieties are available commercially. More than 40% of the world’s annual output of mangoes are grown in India.
BBC News: Ten ‘big facts’ about India
Interesting Facts About India
How Much Water Does it Take to Grow America’s Favorite Foods
Rivers are commonly associated with recreational activities such as kayaking or swimming, sacred rituals such as baptisms or generating energy and electricity. But did you know that there is much more to rivers than the things you physically do in or around them? National Geographic outlines the importance of rivers and calls them “the veins of […]
Fresh water plays a monumental part in helping change the world. Check out this infographic created by the Ohio University for info on 10 ways that clean water can change the world!
The Ganges river, also referred to as the Ganga, is known as the sacred river of India. Starting in the Himalayan mountain range, the Ganges stretches 2,700 km through northern India and Bangladesh before reaching the Bay of Bengal.
Source: Britannica Kids
The Ganges is described is sacred texts as the ‘best of rivers, born of all the sacred waters’. It is an important part of Hindu pilgrimage and is a common site to spread ashes of the cremated or perform ritual bathing.
In addition, the Ganges has been providing hydration for centuries. Its fertile soil is beneficial for agriculture, and its water serves as a source of irrigation to the surrounding area. Rice, sesame, sugarcane and millets are some among the varieties of crops that can be grown along the river. Today, the Ganges is a source of life for the nearly 400 million people living near its basin. It is a valuable source of water for drinking, food, irrigation, and manufacturing.
Are you an expert on water or could you stand to learn more? For instance, how much of Earth’s water is fresh? How much fresh water do clouds hold? How many people in India have been displaced by large-scale dams? Check out National Geographic’s “Freshwater 101” quiz to test your smarts (and to learn how […]
A first look at the Bancroft Arnesen Access Water Expedition team.
In just five days, our team will be in India ready to kick off our Access Water expedition! We have been planning for a long time and are eager to get started. Meet our team and learn more about why we are headed to the Ganges.